Men and back bell ringing

At a District Meeting two or three years ago we welcomed two male visitors. One of them had phoned in advance to check that they could come and naturally they were told they would be most welcome – our membership is relatively small and we are usually happy for visitors, female or male, to join us. However, we do expect them to behave in an appropriate manner, remembering that they are indeed visitors.

Both men took hold to ring quite frequently, certainly more so than most of our own members – the objective was clearly for them both to circle the tower during the 45 minutes of ringing. Towards the end of the session Cambridge Minor was called for, the most advanced ring at that tower, and one of the men immediately took hold of the tenor. He was politely but firmly asked to hand the rope to one of our members and was told that the treble was going spare if he'd like to ring that.

Whilst it is true that there are male ringers, like this one, who automatically assume they should ring the back bells, even if there are women present who could ring them equally well, it is also true that women must be a bit more assertive (but not aggressive) when need be.